Last night, I found myself observing a few beetles running across my floor. Don’t ask me why they were there or how they got in, but they were there. Now, you’re probably asking why I didn’t grab a shoe or a paper towel and smash the beetles or get them out of my house. Well, that’s what I had originally planned, but I saw something interesting in these bugs. There was a pattern; there was a story within these bugs’ actions.
Beetle number one came into the room and started to run along the wall. It was obvious this bug had a path it was set to follow. Another bug had probably been there before, and it was following in the prior bug’s path. This bug ran the path and got to the space it was going without any obstacles. It never got flipped over, never saw any problems, and if it did, probably ignored them and continued on its path.
A second beetle came along and ran the same path as bug number one. The only difference is that this bug flipped itself over from time to time, but found a way to get right-side-up once again using its own strength. This bug had some struggles, but ultimately found a way to success.
A third beetle emerged from wherever bugs come from in my house. This bug got a bit ahead of itself and flipped on its back. It struggled for a bit, flailed around with its legs, but couldn’t turn back over. That is, until it found a power cord. The bug got its legs against the power cord and used it to flip it back to the right side to continue along. This bug realized its struggles and knew to use a tool to get back on its feet.
Beetle number four is where it gets interesting. This bug has run the same path but flipped itself over, just like the bugs prior. The main difference is that this bug flipped over away from the wall and the power cord. It couldn’t find a way to get flipped back over. This bug flailed its legs and tried to roll, but nothing was working for it. After a while, it stopped moving. I think it realized that it didn’t have the strength or resources to get back on its feet, so it accepted its fate and waited for another bug to come along and help.
Once again, another beetle emerged to run the path of the beetles before it. Like the bug before, it became flipped over. The bug tried everything it possibly could to regain its footing, just like the bug before, but had no luck. Then I realized something about this bug. It wasn’t a beetle like the others; it was a lightning bug. Immediately, the bug realized the situation it was in and began to flash the light on its tail to signal for help. It knew it was struggling and reached out using the resources it had to ask for help. It was now up to the other bugs to help out.
The last beetle was the most interesting to me, and the most important to the story, and the point I’m trying to make. This bug had emerged only moments after bug number one. It sat and watched as the other bugs had maneuvered the room and got to the place they wanted. This bug also watched as the others had flipped over and gotten back up, as well as flipped over and failed to get back up. Finally, this bug started to run the course. It ran along the wall and got flipped over.
At this point, you’re probably wondering why all these bugs are getting flipped over onto their backs. I’m not sure, but somehow, I guess gravity got the better of them
This bug saw how the others had flipped and when it did the same thing; it knew to use its own strength or a tool to get back over. The most interesting part of the story is that when the bug started running again. It came across the first beetle that had flipped and ran past, but then stopped. It then ran over and helped the bug-in-distress back onto its feet. At this point I had thought both bugs would continue on their way. Well, if this is what you thought too, you’re about to be surprised. I witnessed compassion in a bug. Yes. I saw a bug show feelings.
The two bugs saw bug number five, the lightning bug, flipped over and blinking away. These beetles and the lightning bug are dissimilar to say the least, but they all had something in common; they knew the same struggle. The two beetles ran over and helped flip the lightning bug over, together. The beetles went on their way, and the lighting bug flew up and toward the window, at which point I caught it and helped it outside.
Now at this point I hope you got the whole point of my story. If you didn’t, maybe I can help explain why I sat for twenty minutes and stared at a few bugs instead of killing them like a normal person would. Here goes: